4.15 pm: That will be all from us for the moment. The end of another great tournament for Satwik and Chirag, despite their eighth defeat against the world’s best doubles pair. Speaking of the number 8, the Indian pair is set to enter the top 8 in the world in the next issue of BWF rankings. Their rise continues. Stay tuned for the match report.
FINAL SCORE, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 22-20 Satwik-Chirag: That was a superbly entertaining 2nd game but the Minions extend their impressive record against Satwik/Chirag to 8 wins out of 8 (and only ONE GAME dropped in those matches)
FINAL SCORE, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 22-20 Satwik-Chirag: The match is over in straight games once again! And fittingly, Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo hits the winning shot. Fourth consecutive final for the minions at China Open!
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 21-20 Satwik-Chirag: Good leave by the Indians at the left sideline, match point saved. But a superb smash from Kevin to earn their 2nd point.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 20-19 Satwik-Chirag: What a crucial point. At 18-19, Indians would have been facing a match point had Chirag had turned up the heat to make it 19-19. But inevitably, the top seeds have their first match point after a superb rally. 20-19.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 18-18 Satwik-Chirag: Every time the Indians pull ahead by two, the top seeds fight back. This time Gideon with the pressure applied well at the net. The world No 1 level it up soon.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 15-17 Satwik-Chirag: A window of opportunity at 16-14 for the Indians but Kevin does his thing at the net again to close the gap down to 1. An error from Gideon in the next rally and the Indians have a 2-point lead again.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 14-14 Satwik-Chirag: More fast-paced rallies, more good badminton on display from all four. Satwik/Chirag desperately trying to stay in this match.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 12-12 Satwik-Chirag: Points exchanged in the early stages after the interval and it’s all level in this second game. Very little to choose between the pairs at this stage but the Indians need an extra gear, evidently.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 11-10 Satwik-Chirag: Sukamuljo has just been at a different level today compared to everyone else on the court. Three straight points for the minions and they head into the mid-game interval with a 1-point lead after a 8-10 deficit at one point.
Correction: The score was 8-10 in the previous update.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 8-10 Satwik-Chirag: SENSATIONAL DEFENCE FROM SATWIK! He was returning shuttles while on his way down to the turf in stages! The Indians end up winning that rally and it stays level at 9-9.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 6-6 Satwik-Chirag: All quite even at the moment, with all four players operating a high level. Gideon has upped his game too, and has won a couple of crucial rallies. The Indians make an unsuccessful review but things are level again as Chirag leaves the shuttle well at the baseline.
Second game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16, 2-3 Satwik-Chirag: What a rally!!! Incredible defence by the Indonesians. A 52-shot rally that leaves both sides winded. The Indians had a 3-1 lead and then that 52-shot rally happened. Just brilliant from all four players, really.
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16 Satwik-Chirag: Here are the stats...
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 21-16 Satwik-Chirag: Indians save one game point but the top seeds convert their 2nd.
Ashish Magotra says, “Sukamuljo has not put a foot wrong in this game. He even smashed back a smash!”
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 17-15 Satwik-Chirag: Five game points for the top seeds.
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 17-15 Satwik-Chirag: Aggression from Chirag after the top seeds go up by 4 points again. The Indians not letting the Indonesians run away with this game yet. The gap is down to two after arguably the best rally of the match that is won by a body smash from Chirag.
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 14-10 Satwik-Chirag: Three points after the break for Gideon and Sukamuljo. The latter is just phenomenal at moving across the court and it is showing now. All the pressure is on the Indians now, and they respond well with a good defensive rally.
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 11-9 Satwik-Chirag: Lovely reflex from Chirag at the net, on his knees almost squatting, but still managed to get the shuttle across for a winner. The top seeds, however, do take a 2-point lead into the mid-game interval.
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 10-7 Satwik-Chirag: And just like that, six straight points for the Minions. Errors from the Indians to go with increase in tempo of rallies by the Indonesians.
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 4-7 Satwik-Chirag: Perhaps the plan is to target the golden-haired Gideon in this match? A couple of errors already from the Indonesian in the early stages as Satwik and Chirag dovetail nicely. The Indians go up 7-4.
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 2-4 Satwik-Chirag: A handy early lead of two points at 3-1, 4-2 for the Indians in the opening game. Good tempo to the game to start off.
First game, Gideon-Sukamuljo 0-1 Satwik-Chirag: An error by the top seeds after a long-ish rally gives India the first point.
3.30 pm: Gideon-Sukamuljo are, as the commentator just announced, three-time defending champions at the China Open. As a pair they are yet to lose even a match at this tournament! Stunning record for a stunningly good doubles pair.
3.26 pm: The players are out in the middle. Satwik and Chirag have a 0-7 head-to-head against Gideon and Sukamuljo. In fact, the Indians have only taken it to three games once in seven matches: at the Asian Games last year.
3.17 pm: Take a moment to appreciate this: isn’t it pretty amazing that on the day of semi-finals at a major event there is Indian interest AFTER the women’s singles matches are over? Satwik and Chirag are making it a delightful habit to go deep in tournaments. This is their third semi-final appearance in BWF World Tour 2019...Thailand Open winners, French Open runners-up, China Open ....?
3.13 pm: We are almost at the end of the women’s singles semi-final between defending champion Chen Yufei and Canada’s Michelle Li. Chen has a 17-12 lead in the decider. Satwik and Chirag will be next in action against the top seeds.
3.11 pm: The first game of Friday’s quarterfinala went down to the wire before Satwik and Chirag upped their game to get past the third seed Chinese pair Li and Liu. The second game followed in a similar pattern as both the pairs matched each other stroke for stroke to be tied at 15-15. But this was when Satwik and Chirag changed gears and capitalised on a few unforced errors from their opponents to pocket six straight points and seal the tie and a place in the last-four. This was Satwik and Chirag’s third meeting this year with the world no. 3 Chinese duo. The Indians had got the better of the Chinese pair in Thailand Open in April before losing in the second round of the Australian Open in June.
Quarter-final recap: Satwik-Chirag stun 2018 world champions again.
3.05 pm: Hello all and welcome to our live coverage of the China Open Super 750 tournament, where there is Indian interest in the men’s doubles semi-final!
The rising men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty kept alive India’s challenge at the China Open by progressing to the semi-finals of the BWF World Tour Super 750 event in Fuzhou on Friday and how! The unseeded Indian duo outplayed local favourites Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen 21-19, 21-15 in a 43-minute quarterfinal clash.
This was the second win in three matches this year for the Indian pair currently ranked world no 9 against the 2018 world champions from China.
They will now take on top seeds and world No 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in the semifinals on Saturday. The Indians had lost to the same pair in the final of the French Open last month. While wins against top 10 pairs have been quite a few in 2019 for Satwik and Chirag, the “Minions” have been a tough opponent to overcome. The Indians are yet to beat the Indonesian stalwarts in seven attempts.